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Budget 2021 strikes balance between protecting livelihood and revitalising economy - MRPC

07 Nov 2020 / 11:59 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2021 has established a balance between protecting livelihoods and revitalising the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corp (MPRC).

Its deputy chief executive officer, Mohd Yazid Ja’afar said the government had moved decisively in the budget and helped carve a path towards recovery for many Covid-19-hit industries, including the oil and gas services and equipment (OGSE) industry.

He said the range of different measures to help businesses, particularly the Danajamin Prihatin Guarantee Scheme, which addressed the current obstacles faced by Malaysian companies is critical for companies to grow again if the national and global economies were to recover in the medium and long term.

One of the initiatives lauded by MPRC is the Sustainability Bond.

“Local OGSE companies that subscribe to the Sustainability Bond could utilise them for export activities moving forward, giving them the much-needed leverage to secure larger contracts overseas,” he said.

MPRC said a number of significant funding and alternative funding measures announced in the budget, such as the High Technology Fund of RM500 million by Bank Negara Malaysia and tax exemptions to commercialise research and development activities were welcome news to OGSE companies involved in technology development.

“We are hopeful this initiative will catalyse OGSE companies to further develop their technological solutions, increase operational efficiency whilst keeping costs low,” he said.

MPRC also urged semi-skilled oil and gas workers and technicians to utilise the RM150 million allocated for upskilling under the Ministry of Higher Education professional certification, as well as RM100 million allocated by the Human Resources Development Fund.

The agency said the upskilling programme would provide a much-needed breathing space for retrenched and displaced workers, as well as help ensure skilled and experienced workers in the OGSE industry are retained.

MPRC said its recent Covid-19 survey of the OGSE industry anticipated a retrenchment rate of 30 per cent from its current workforce of 60,000 employees.

“Thus, we hope that the OGSE sector will be monitored and supported by the National Employment Council,” said Mohd Yazid. -Bernama

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